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Best Things to do in London with a toddler

Best Things to do in London with a toddler

In this guide to the best things to do in London with a toddler we tell you our favorite London toddler attractions as well as top tips for visiting London with a toddler. 

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Traveling to London with a toddler tips 

Toddler and Dad with Big Ben. Best Things to do in London with a toddler

Best Things to do in London with a toddler

As a local London mum  I can attest that London with kids of any age is a great idea. However whenever you travel with a toddler it does take some more planning and forethought. 

And while we think that any European city break with toddlers is fun you need to really consider what is the best location to stay  in and best way to get around especially if you have a stroller in London with you. For more tips and tricks for visiting Europe with toddlers be sure to read this comprehensive post. 

That is why we will turn our attention to some of the more practical aspects about visiting London with a toddler before we look at things to do with toddlers in the city. 

Is London toddler friendly?

In our opinion London is absolutely toddler friendly so long as you plan you London itinerary with family in mind. 

Some things that we think make London toddler friendly include the amazing parks and playgrounds throughout the city as well as great museums and ease of getting around the city. 

How do you get around London with a toddler?

When visiting Europe with a toddler many people have questions about how to get around. However London is a really easy and accessible place to travel around. 

Using the London Underground with a toddler 

View of Underground Station - Using a stroller in London / London with a baby

Using a stroller in London / London with a baby

The London Underground is perhaps the most used method of public transport for tourists. However if you are traveling with a toddler you may be worried about using the Tube. 

One of the main challenges about using the Underground with a toddler is the fact that not all stations are accessible with a stroller. 

If you plan to use  the London Underground with a toddler then our top tip is to pick up a London Underground map and download the TFL app with its digital map. 

Any station that has a wheelchair symbol next to the station name should be accessible with a stroller. We recommend trying to use this if you plan to use a stroller instead of a carrier in London and choosing your London accommodation near to one of these stations. 

For full information on how to use the London Underground with a toddler check out this post. 

Buses in London with a toddler

Getting Around London with a baby

Getting Around London with a baby

London buses are another iconic London form of transport that are great to use with toddlers. 

Although the Underground can be quicker depending on the time of day that you are traveling, the bus is another convenient option. Also depending on the route you choose, buses can be a great way to see many of the London attractions without a huge price tag. 

And if your toddler is anything like mine they will absolutely adore the bus. 

As an added bonus, the bus is also easier to navigate with a stroller as there are no turnstiles and on the new buses there is dedicated stroller parking which is great for if your toddler has napped.

And for advice on getting from the airport to London check out this post or check out our other London travel tips here. 

London Hop On Hop Off Buses

I love hop on hop off buses however I don’t necessarily think they are great with toddlers in London. Depending on the time and day you are traveling will depend on how much traffic you encounter. If you hit traffic this can get boring quickly for toddlers. 

Also the narrative on the buses are not designed for toddlers or younger kids which can mean it isn’t the most engaging. If you want a bus tour with toddlers we would instead recommend the Peppa Pig toddler afternoon tea bus. 

Taxis in London with a toddler

Yes you can indeed use a taxi in London with a toddler however this is a very expensive way of getting round the city.UK law states that when travelling in taxis children under three may travel without a car seat. 

And if you want to use Uber, this is currently available in London however they do not provide car seats so you will need to bring your own which can be hard to store on a day out in London as it is a legal requirement to have a car seat in an Uber. 

Walking around London with toddler

London is one of the most walkable cities in Europe and is very easy to push a stroller around most of London (or a pram, buggy or pushchair as we say in the UK). 

Where to stay in London with a toddler

View of County Hall - Best Premier Inn to Stay in London - Best Premier Inn Locations London

View of County Hall – Best Premier Inn to Stay in London – Best Premier Inn Locations London

When you are looking at where to stay in London with a toddle, I would really emphasise picking a good and central location near to an accessible tube stop.

London has a very good range of chain hotels all of which accommodate families really well. Our personal favorite is the Premier Inn chain and there are plenty of options in the city. For more information on the best premier inn in London to stay in check out this post. 

Best Restaurants in London with toddlers

Eating out with toddlers cane tricky wherever you are in the world. If you have a fussy toddler but don’t want to compromise on nice food on your trip to London the we recommend trying the following restaurants:

  • Wahaca
  • Wagama
  • London Pubs
  • Giraffe
  • Byron Burger
  • Pizza Express, or Franca Manca
  • Ping Pong 

To name just a few great places to eat in London with toddlers. We have a full guide to eating out in London with kids here.

And for those that want to have a traditional afternoon tea in London, don’t feel like you can’t do one just because you have a toddler with you. There are plenty of kid friendly afternoon teas in London which would be perfect if you are visiting with a toddler.  

Best things to do in London with a toddler 

So now you know how to get around London with a baby and the best places to stay, let’s turn our attention to London’s toddler friendly attractions and best things to do in London with a toddler in tow.

Next read: If you would like to find a London itinerary designed specifically for babies and toddlers then check this post out! 

Best London Museums for Toddlers 

London is one of the best cities in the world for museums. Not only that London has some great museums for toddlers. Some of our favorite museums and exhibitions for toddlers in London are: 

The Garden at Science Museum 

Science Museum kids playing - best museums for toddlers and kids in London

best museums for toddlers and kids in London

I think the Science Museum is perhaps the best museum in London for kids of any age and it actually has some great exhibits that are aimed at toddlers specifically. 

The Garden is located on the basement level of the building and  is aimed at the preschool and early primary school aged children and is filled with  water play, sound and building experiments.

Be warned though that although there are aprons available I always find children using the water play get wet so advise taking extra clothes with you just to be on the safe side!

Top Tip: Although aprons are provided I would recommend taking a fresh set of clothes with you!

How to Get There: Take the District, Piccadilly or Circle Line to South Kensington Station and then a short walk. If it is raining be sure to use the underground passage to the museums. 

London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum with kids, toddlers and babies

London Transport Museum with kids, toddlers and babies

The London Transport Museum isn’t one of the free museums in London but it is one of the best for toddlers and preschoolers.  

As you enter this museum you take an elevator ride back in time to the beginnings of public transport in London.

From there you can learn about the hackney carriages, the makings of the tube and bus systems.

Toddlers will love all the buses and trains you can sit on and there is even a great hands on area for little explorers to get Hands on learning experience. 

Also depending on the time of year oyu are going you could see if the museum is holding one of its two biannual stores open days which take place in Acton. 

Natural history museum

Best Free Things to Do in London with Kids - The Natural History Museum

Best Free Things to Do in London with Kids – The Natural History Museum

Let’s face it – what toddler doesn’t like dinosaurs and that’s why the natural history museum is one top things to do with toddlers in London.

There is really nothing more to say other than your littles are going to love this place. Be warned however there is a moving animotonix dinosaur in the dinosaur gallery which is known to give some children a scare if they aren’t expecting it! 

If you have a Cbeebies fan in your household be sure to hunt out the clock from Andy’s Dinosaurs Adventures. 

How to Get There: Take the District, Piccadilly or Circle Line to South Kensington Station and then a short walk. If it is raining be sure to use the underground passage to the museums. 

Discover Children’s Story Centre

The Discover CHildren’s Story Centre is a great interactive centre for small children.

There are different exhibitions areas and events at this interactive children’s space so be sure to check what is on before going so you can plan your day.

For those looking for what to do with a baby in London you may want to check out the storytelling sessions that are aimed at the 0-3 yrs. 

British Postal Museum

The British Postal Museum on the surface may not sound appealing to toddlers however it is one of the best things to do with children in London. Toddlers will love the mail train ride and the interactives and toddlers will especially love the soft play area for the under 8s! 

Playbase at National Army Museum

This is a particularly great place in London for toddlers. It is a dedicated soft play area for under 8s with a dedicated infants section which make it perfect for toddlers 

V&A Museum of Childhood

The V&A Museum of childhood is dedicated to growing up in Britain. This fabulous museum is a great place for a multigenerational museum visit as it will show you the evolution how children have been cared for, dressed and what they have played with over time. 

On top of that there are some great hands on and interactive elements to this museum including Make Believe and Sensory Pod which even babies and toddlers will love. 

Horniman Museum

A fascinating museum that has collections of anthropology and musical instruments. This museum runs some of the best kid friendly activities in London at weekends and holidays so be sure to check their website for current schedules. There is also a small aquarium at this museum. 

The museum also has a lovely cafe and has some of the best views over London. There are also plenty of gardens and grounds for children that need to blow off some steam after there time in the museum. 

Best London Parks and Playgrounds for Toddlers 

Princess Diana Memorial Playground

View of Princess Diana Memorial Playground - Best London Playgrounds / Best London Parks

Best London Playgrounds / Best London Parks

This huge outdoor playground is one of the most popular and best things for toddlers to do in London. 

Some of my little ones favourite parts of the garden are the pirate ship, sensory trail and wigwams however be warned this playground is how busy it can get especially at weekends and during holidays so try and go early and on a weekday. 

Please note: The park opens at 10am each day (closed on Christmas Day). The park is supervised however children must be accompanied by an adult.

St James Park / Green Park

This is a beautiful park with interesting wildlife and good play area for little ones and an absolute oasis in the centre of London.

One of our favorite things to do there is to go and see the Pelicans especially at feeding time. It really is one of the best things for children in London to see!. 

It is also well located near to Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guardwhich is totally doable with a baby in tow!

There is a children’s playground located close to Wellington Barracks and also a coffee shop for parents in need of caffeination.

Regents Park

A great park but with the added bonus as being home to the London Zoo.

London Eye Playground 

Although the London Eye in my opinion can lose a toddlers attention if oyu decide to visit you should combine it with a visit to the nearby London Eye playground – one of the best London playgrounds for toddlers. 

Best London Attractions for toddlers 

Hampton Court Palace 

Best Things to do in London with a toddler

Best Things to do in London with a toddler

I adore Hampton Court Palace and although you may think it is’t toddler friendly this really isn’t the case. While older children and adults will love learning about the gruesome history of Henry VIII, toddlers will enjoy the maze.

But absolutely the best thing to do at Hampton Court with toddlers is the Magic Garden which is in my opinion the best playground in London for toddlers. It is really a fantastic London day trip for kids of any age. 

Hampton Court can get busy so we recommend buying your tickets in advance! You can get your entrance tickets via Viator online HERE

Visit Hamley’s

Best Things to do in London with toddlers

Best Things to do in London with toddlers

Hamleys, is one of the most famous toy stores in the world and has been captivating children since 1760 and it is easy to see why. 

Shop staff are constantly playing and demonstrating the toys which kids will love and you are bound to get lured into buying a few new toys – whether you want to not! Bt let’s face it there is nothing like a bit of bribery to keep your kids energy levels up when traveling!

Kew Garden

Best Best European City Break with Toddlers - Kew Gardens with Kids - Perfect London day trip with kids City Break with Kids Kew Gardens with Kids - Perfect London day trip with kids

Best European City Break with Toddlers – Kew Gardens with Kids – Perfect London day trip with kids

Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew are well worth visiting with toddlers.  It is a great place for children to run around at any time of year but there are plenty of family friendly activities throughout the year such as Peter Rabbit Trail at Easter and the Christmas at Kew events.

There is also the dedicated children’s garden where they can play and explore the sensory trails. It is really one of the best places in the city with toddlers. 

London Zoo

No matter what age your child is, zoos are always a popular attraction to visit. London has a great zoo in Regent’s Park which babies will love.

To save your children waiting in line be sure to grab your Skip the Line tickets in advance HERE

London aquarium

In my experience toddlers love aquariums and London has a fantastic aquarium that has a multi layer shark tank. 

If you want to visit the London Aquarium we recommend you book your tickets in advance hereto make sure you don’t have to queue.  

And if you are going to several of the London Merlin attractions consider buying the combo ticketas this can be a cost saver. 

London Duck tour with kids

The London Duck tour is an amphibious vehicle ride that offers a great way to see London from land and water.

The duck boat is a distinctive yellow amphibious WWII vehicle (made by GM Motors for D-day landing).

On this your you get to see all of the classic London sites but in a really fun way! Toddlers always marvel at the amphibious nature of the vehicle and you will squeals of joy as the boat enters the water for the first time.

Visit the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

A historic collection of dinosaur statues. Toddlers will love getting up and close to the dinosaurs! With  30 life-size 3D model dinosaurs, sculpted in 1854 and restored in 2003 this is. sure fire win with toddlers 

Afternoon Tea Bus

Although there are some very kid friendly afternoon teas in London one of the most popular for toddlers is the Peppa Pig Bus. This is a combination of afternoon tea and bus tour with commentary aimed at toddler using the characters from Peppa Pig. 

Sky Garden

 

The Sky Garden offers a beautiful perspective on London and even better its free to enter but advance booking of tickets is essential. The Sky Garden offers great views across London, and rivals the Shard for views and is even better being free.

Click here to book online for free! 

Best London Theatre for toddlers 

London is renowned for its amazing theatre but can you visit it with toddlers? While many shows have a minimum age limit there are plenty of other shows to watch with toddlers. 

Out favourites are listed below and be sure if you are visiting London at Christmas to check out a pantomime. 

Royal Albert Hall Story Telling and Music Sessions for 0-4 year olds

If you are looking for what to do in London with a baby then one of the best places to go for activities for babies in London is the Royal Albert Hall.

They offer London baby activities aimed at the 0-4s markets in the form of musical Sessions for the under 4s. These sessions usually last about 35 minutes.

Please note this is a ticketed events and cost 5GBP a person.

Puppet Theatre Barge

Looking for toddler shows, London has a few places that cater for the toddler age range but one of the best is the institution know as the Puppet Theatre Barge.

The Barge theatre holds around 50 people and offers some great shows. It is located in Little Venice which is also another area of London that is great to have a wander around with kids.

London itinerary with a toddler

If you want to sample a London itinerary with a toddler then our favorite way to spend time in London with a toddler includes: 

Day 1

Starting the day at the Playground near Wellington Barracks before heading to watch the changing of the guard. 

Then for the afternoon heading off on a Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. 

Day 2

Start the day at the Diana Princess Memorial Garden which is one of the best playgrounds in London before heading to the museums of South Kensington – our favourites are the Science Museum and Natural History Museum. 

Day 3 

Spend the morning exploring the London Transport museum, a great museum for toddlers before heading out to explore the local Covent Garden area. Before checking out Leicester Square and heading to Hamleys. 

Day 4 

Day Trip to Hampton Court Palace. 

If you are interested in theme parks you could consider heading to Legoland Windsor with your toddler.